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Offshore Banking: What You Need to Know Before Opening an Account

Aug 17, 2007
Offshore banking, we have all heard about it before. Unfortunately, many are misinformed when it comes to offshore banking. We have all heard news reports of accounts being used to front illegal activities or to avoid taxes. In fact, we have also seen it in the movies, being used a similar way. This has led many individuals to believe that banking is illegal. Despite what you may believe, offshore banking is legal. However, how you use it may be considered illegal.

Offshore banking is done through a bank that is known as an offshore bank. Offshore banks are banks that are located in another country, other than the country that you reside in. For instance, if you live in the Untied States an offshore bank would not be located in the United States. Many popular offshore banks are located in Switzerland. There are a number of advantages to offshore banking, but there are disadvantages as well.

The biggest advantage of offshore banking is that you are offered privacy and stability. There are many individuals who place their money in foreign accounts for security purposes. When your money is in an offshore account, you can access it, but many choose not to. It is easier to access and spend your money if it is at a local bank. That is why a large number of individuals use off shore banking to help them increase their savings.

Another advantage of off shore banking is that just about anyone can open an account. The most common users of offshore banking are corporations, the self-employed, or individuals who wealthy. Offshore banks may have restrictions on the amount of money that is needed to open an account, but it is not always a large amount. Whether you are a small business owner, wealthy, or you consider yourself middle class, you should still be able to open up an offshore bank account.

As previously mentioned, offshore banking is often associated with illegal activities. One of these illegal activities is tax evasion. If you set up an offshore account, you will still need to report your savings. Not reporting all of your money in an offshore account can lead to you be brought up on tax evasion charges. It is important to note that you have the ability to prevent this from happening. As long as you choose to use your bank account legally, there shouldn't be any disadvantages to having one.

The decision to open up an offshore bank account is a large one. If you are interested in opening up an offshore bank account, it is advised that you fully examine your decision. Many benefit from offshore banking, but not all do. If you are planning on using your offshore account to avoid a lawsuit or to evade taxes, you may want to reexamine your decision. As previously mentioned, there are serious consequences for doing this. As long as you plan on using your offshore account in a legal way, you can benefit immensely from offshore accounts.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for the Credit Card Guide, offering views on credit cards in the UK, visit them today for some great 0% balance transfer offers and start clearing credit card debt today.
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